HTC One vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Compared: Seth Heringer Deep Dive



aNewDomain.net — The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 are generating a ton of buzz. They’re both fast, well-equipped Android smartphones with some of the most beautiful touch screen hardware available on the market today. Here’s how they compare.

I conducted a feature by feature breakdown in this battle of the smartphones — HTC One vs the Samsung Galaxy S4. Check it out, below.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy S4 at first appears nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor, the S3 — on the surface, anyway. But the S4 is made of slippery, hard-to-hold plastic. The whole design feels cheap. It doesn’t even look like a top-tier phone — and for approximately $640 without a contract, it really should feel better.

The HTC One, by comparison, has a rich feel. Its aluminum body is cool to the touch and incredibly sleek. It just looks better than the Galaxy S4. It has a 4.7-inch, full HD, 1080p and 468 PPI display, plus an ultra-thin body and beautiful that’s not too Apple-ish. Round edges. If you care about design, the HTC One is the phone for you.

designmark

Image credit: Flickr

Photo Capabilities

Smartphone camera specs are an important thing to consider when you buy a new smartphone.  As single-purpose, point-and-shoot cameras disappear from store shelves, quality photo gear on smartphones will get increasingly more important, too. Why settle?

HTC and Samsung each implement rather different strategies in the megapixel race between smartphone manufacturers. Samsung still equips its high-end devices with 13-megapixel cameras. They take beautiful shots in the bright light of day but struggle in dimly-lit settings.

The HTC One carries a 4 megapixel camera, but HTC claims that doesn’t make it inferior. Rather, it argues that its pixels are larger. Larger pixels produce better overall picture quality, execs argue. It’s an intriguing argument. I find the results unimpressive, though.

In low light, the HTC One out-shoots the Samsung Galaxy S4. But with better lighting, the Galaxy S4 easily outshines its competitor in both clarity and sharpness. So, if you take mostly low-light photos, then the HTC One is for you. But everyone else — the majority of buyers, I’m wagering — will favor the shots they get from the Samsung Galaxy S4’s higher pixel camera.

Battery Life

Longer battery life is worth some sacrifice — even if it means less horsepower overall. The Galaxy S4 has always provided up to a full day of charge-free phone use. The HTC One, on the other hand, began its career with bad battery life issues. The good news is that a software update has alleviated most of HTC’s battery issues.

These days, the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One each are able to survive a full day without charging.

Sound Quality

If speakers don’t seem like a major make-or-break feature of a smartphone you’re buying, the HTC One could make you reconsider. The GS4 has its speaker facing the rear of the phone — no change there. But the HTC One now has two speakers. And it has moved them both to the front of the phone.

These speakers won’t be replacing your headphones, clearlyl, but they do easily outshine the speakers on the Galaxy S4. If you are the kind of person who talks on your smartphone while you watch videos, you’ll want to consider the superior speaker quality the HTC One offers.

Removable Storage

Here, you’ve either got it or you don’t. If you want a removable battery and space for a Micro SD card, the Galaxy S4 is your only choice. The HTC One offers no option here.

Final Words?

The Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One each appeal to different kinds of buyers — and as you just read, they each have strengths and weaknesses to consider.  As for me, I prefer the look and feel of the HTC One. I’m even willing to forego the better camera on the Galaxy S4 for that.  And those HTC One speakers are just too sweet to resist.

Where do you stand in the battle of the smartphones? Drop me a line. I’m Seth@aNewDomain.net.

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  • Dennis McDonald

    How does the software compare?

  • Seth Heringer

    This is a great question, and I actually have another article upcoming on exactly this question. It actually focuses more on the GS4 since the HTC One has fewer software tweaks. I don’t want to give the whole article away, but in short, I feel the GS4 offers a few minor software features that are helpful, but they are buried under mountains of useless junk Samsung throws on all their phones.

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